“When’s the best time to take the ACT or SAT exam?” It’s a question we hear a lot. Here are five reasons we strongly recommend that teens take the ACT or SAT exam over the summer.
1. The final year of high school is going to be hectic.
You think this year is busy? Get ready to take it up a notch. We’re talking more college visits, the whole college application process, essay writing, taking advanced classes, prepping for AP tests, keeping up with sports, extracurriculars and social life… Whew! We get tired just talking about all of it. To finish high school strong, your soon-to-be-senior is going to have A LOT going on. Think of the June exam as the calm before the storm.
2. Early summer, content from school is still fresh in your teen’s mind.
Now, we realize that your teenager’s short-term memory may be a debatable topic in your household. Nonetheless, there is something to be said for taking the ACT or SAT while classes are still top of mind. Kids can lose up to 2-1/2 months of learning over the summer. Your son or daughter has learned so much this year and worked way too hard. Why let summer brain drain affect his or her test results? Exactly! Take the summer exam.
3. Your teen has the summer to focus on skills and subjects that need some fine-tuning.
The short of it is, nearly all kids have room for improvement. And with college admissions being as competitive as they are, summer is a great time to look into ACT prep and SAT prep. When your son or daughter takes the exam over the summer, you’ll be able to see which skill areas need help. Then, your teen can focus on those weak spots. When the exam rolls around again in the fall, your teen will be prepared and more confident. Taking the test multiple times gives your teen the best chance for success!
4. Many colleges “superscore,” so it’s worth taking the ACT or SAT 2-3 times.
Many colleges around the country use superscoring, and yes, it’s the closest thing to giving your teen ACT or SAT superpowers.
Here’s how it works: If your son or daughter takes the exam several times, these colleges won’t accept the best overall score from a single test. Rather, they’ll take the highest section scores from across the tests and put them together to make a superscore.
So, if your teen scores really high on math this summer, he or she can keep that score for the next time. (Cool, right?) Tip! Be sure to find out whether your child’s desired colleges use superscores.
5. The best test results come from preparation.
There’s an art to taking the ACT and SAT exams. Part of it is learning test-taking strategies and getting to know the flow of each exam. And part of it is strengthening skills and knowledge in specific subject areas.
This editorial is provided by
Sylvan Learning of Clifton Park and Albany. For more information, visit